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Are you feeling stuck in your job search? Despite all the efforts you have put in it, it seems that all the time and energy you invested in sending job applications and attending rounds of interviews are going to be in vain. If this happens to you, cheer up! Do not let your spirit wane and keep going. All you need to do is rethinking your job hunt strategy: leverage the power of networking.

The most unfortunate thing that happens since the rise of internet and technology is that most jobseekers nowadays tend to be lazy. Instead of going out and building network with real people, they prefer spending their time in front of the computer to search and apply jobs online. While it is true that these online job portals do offer many employment opportunities, you might miss the chance to network and connect with prominent business players.

Networking is a crucial strategy to help you conduct an effective job seeking. By getting to know and building good relationships with people from various backgrounds and expertise, it will open the chance to find more information and job opportunities from wider scope. Not to mention, you never know if an acquaintance might help you find employment faster by giving a reference to his employer about your skills. Additionally, growing a network will give you a lot stories related to job hunt, such that you can learn from them.

Follow the tips below to network the right way:

Connect to people around you

It is a big opportunity if you can connect with people around who can give you information about the job you have been searching for, especially if the person is working at your dream company. Not only getting bigger chances of getting hired, you will also gain useful information about how the company works and its culture before you apply the job. Family members, neighbours, school friends, and even ex-coworkers can share many advices and experiences about working in the job you want.

Use the internet the right way

Some people argue that sending online application is useless, while some others say that it is effective and efficient. The truth is, the outcome depends on how you use and take advantage of this media. Using Facebook and LinkedIn to push your profile can be a good choice to let people know you. You can build a network with people you find on social media who can provide you with useful information about career, or someone with whom you can consult about the job.

Join a professional community

Professionals create a community where they can gather and meet other people in the related profession. Within such community, they will share with abundant information related to the work field, including work experience, tips, and job vacancies. It is also a good opportunity to join their activity if they conduct seminar, training, internship, or similar events that will hone your knowledge and skill.

Consider the opinion wisely

You should be a smart networker who can digest all the information coming to you with full consideration. You should be careful with persuasion or even scam that might lead you to the wrong decision. Comparing one opinion to others and recheck the truth is important to get the accurate information.

Give a balance contribution

Networking should not be a one-way communication. You should not forget to maintain the relation by saying gratitude to your colleagues or acquaintances when they inform you something important for the job search. You also need to contribute by giving information you have when they need it.

Read also: Seize the Day: Time Management Tips for New Employee

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Congratulations on your new job! After going through numerous tests and interview invitations, finally you land the job of your dream. While getting employed is an exciting news, you should not be carried away with this because your career journey is about to begin. Sooner or later, you might feel like the busiest person in the world as you have to deal with never-ending stack of tasks.

During the first or second week of your job, your boss or coworkers might be okay with the fact that you work rather slowly than others because you have not used to do the tasks. However, as time pass by, your team will begin complaining about your work speed and productivity if you are unable to show any improvement. When this happens, it means that they expect you to be fully-adapted with your work and finish the tasks faster.

Mastering the art of working faster and better might not be an easy task to do, because it also depends on an employee’s skill and experience in the related job. However, you can improve your productivity by having a good time management. Here, we share guides for new employee to manage their time at work:

List the tasks based on priority

First thing to do in the morning before getting into your tasks is to make a list of daily task. This will help
you manage your time and ensure that there is no task forgotten to be done. You should write the list based on the task priority and urgency. For example, you can put the task with the nearest deadline as the first priority.

However, when all your tasks have the same deadline, you can make the list based on the importance. The most important task should be done first then followed by the less one. Then again, if some tasks have the same level of importance, you should choose the easiest one to do first.

Set the target

Setting the target or goal for every task is very important for your daily time management as it will
encourage you to work faster. For example, if you estimate one report can be finished in two hours, then you should check at the first half an hour that at least you have done 25 percent of it. You should estimate how long it takes for a task to finish, including those simple errands that only need ten minutes to be done. The total estimated hours should not be more than your working hours in a day.

Additionally, you should leave some alternative time in your time table. The alternative time can be used when there is urgent task or emergency conditions, such as trouble with your computer or other unpredictable things which hamper your work. You can put one or two hours in the alternative time.

Work smart, not hard

The key to better productivity is to work smarter instead of harder. When you observe the way your senior finishes their tasks, you will learn that succeeding in a project does not only require skills in the related subject, but also certain strategies. For example, you should learn more about how to get your report done faster with the method of typing with ten fingers, memorising the basic Excel formulas, and many more.

Besides those technical skills, you also need to prepare everything that will help you work faster, such as
like putting notes and pen beside the telephone, attaching post-it notes near your computer, and arranging the documents based on certain category.

Anticipate any disruption

Telling your coworkers that you are in a very tight deadline is important so they will not disturb you for
trivial things. It is also important to refrain yourself from watching YouTube videos, chatting, or checking your smartphone too much as this will easily distract you. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot take a break at all. For once in a while, you can refresh your minds by talking a walk around the officer grabbing a cup of coffee from the pantry.

Read also: Most Common Mistakes Fresh Graduates Do when Picking Their First Job

 

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“What kind of career is right for me?” This could be among the most common question crossed a fresh graduate’s mind. In fact, such thought even comes up when they have not graduated yet. It is not without reason that many people think about their future career, as landing on your first job could determine your future direction in life. Getting a good job in a reputable company could be your ticket to better life, while on the opposite, choosing the wrong job could make your life going downhill instead.

Choosing the right job is not easy, as you have to consider many aspects. Not to mention, being a fresh graduate means that you have no prior experience about the professional world. Some fresh graduates end up regretting their first job after realising that they have chosen the wrong job. To prevent similar case, you should avoid some common mistakes fresh graduates do when choosing their first job. Here they are:

Listening to your family too much

When it comes to your future, many people around you might think that they should have a say about what you should do in your life. Your parents or relatives might tell you to choose this job or avoid that job. While it is good to take their sayings into account, it is not a good idea to swallow them all. It does not matter when the suggestions align with your values and passions, but inner turmoil will arise when they say the opposite. Rather than working in a company you do not really fancy and work half-heartedly only to please your family, you should follow your heart instead.

Following someone else’s steps

You know one of your friends earns big salary by working in a particular company whose job is much different from your skills and passions. However, seeing their successes makes you possessed to force yourself pursuing the related job. The truth is, you should keep in mind that every person has different passion and capacity. Instead of merely following someone else’s steps and being unhappy, you should not forget to be just yourself and set your own goals.

Ignoring the environment

Finally you land the job of your dream, but the office is located far from your home and is difficult to reach by public transportation. After deciding to live in a boarding house around the office area, you feel uncomfortable with the surrounding environment, expensive living cost, as well as isolated location that makes you unable to meet your family or friends too often. While this might sound trivial, you should not underestimate the location and environment aspect when choosing a job.

Going only for money

Many fresh graduates are often blinded with the idea of earning their own money, without considering whether they will enjoy the job or not. It is worth noted that considering the salary before picking the job is a must, but it should not be the only reason to choose certain job. Forcing yourself to work in the office that does not match with your basic education and passion is not good for your mental health.

Next read: Where Did All the Money Go? Smart Guide to Manage Your Salary

As more and more Baby Boomers are heading into retirement phase, younger generation of Millennial graduates are joining and dominating the workforce. Given that Millennials have a reputation for switching between one job to another, business leaders are forced to scramble in finding out how to retain their young employees and keep them away from jumping boats.

It has been a common knowledge that Millennials are known to showcase different characteristics than their predecessors such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, including in the workplace. In contrast to the former generations that prioritised career stability and financial security, today’s younger generation of workers prefer to devote themselves for a passionate and meaningful job.

Owing to this reason, Millennials are notorious for being job hoppers because they do not hesitate to change jobs when they feel unfitted to the current ones. But is this stereotype true? Do all Millennials lack of loyalty, engagement, or work ethic to their job?

Every leader must have realised the high cost the company have to pay when an employee resigns. When a staff leaves the team, you do not only have to spend extra money, time, and energy to hire new people and provide onboarding for them, but also lose the investments you have spent for that employee’s training and development. Not surprisingly, high volume of volunteer staff turnover is a big challenge for the current workforce.

In 2016, a study by Gallup revealed that Millennials is the most likely generation to switch jobs, with six in ten Millennials (60 percent) are open to new job opportunity. Not only that, Millennials are also considered as the least engaged generation in the workplace, as the survey found a staggering 93 percent respondents saying that they left employers to seek for new roles. Gallup noted that 36 percent Millennials are willing to move to a different organisation in the next 12 months if the job market improves, compared with 21 percent non-millennials who said the same.

While these statistics might show strong evidences that lead to the conclusion of Millennials being avid job hoppers, it should be noted that this data did not account for the age of their generational groups. It is quite imbalance to compare young people of the Millennial generation to the older people of non-Millennial generations within the same period.

Study by Pew Research tried to disclose this gap by referring to data on job retention by the U.S. Department of Labor and found that Millennial workers are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X were when they were young adults. The reality is, among other college-educated generations, Millennials have longer track records with their employers than Generation X workers did in 2000 when they were the same age as today’s Millennials.

The study reported that in January 2016, 63.4 percent employed Millennials (those born between 80s and 90s) said they had worked for their current employer for at least 13 months. Meanwhile, in February 2000, only 59.9 percent Gen Xers who were 18 to 35 year olds reported similar job tenure. Looking at young workers with longer tenures, 22 percent Millennial workers had been with their employer for at least five years as of 2016, similar to the share of Gen X workers (21.8 percent) in 2000.

What do these figures mean? The data revealed that Millennial’s job tenure is no shorter than that of prior generation. This implies further that the younger generation’s loyalty or engagement is not lower than the older generation. That is to say, job hopping is not something that is exclusively done by Millennials, but rather young people of all generations.

Next read: Top 5 Fastest-Growing Careers That Will Bloom in 2018

Many people said that the coming of sophisticated new technology such as AI (artificial intelligence) and automation will replace many of human roles in the business, leading to the extinction of some natures of work. Jobs that involve administrative and repetitive work are projected to be hit the hardest.

However, in some other areas it seems that disruptive technology is also capable of creating new opportunities and jobs with high-demand of workers. The key to survival for talent is the willingness to embrace changes by continually upgrading their skills and knowledge to keep them up to date with current business trends.

If you want to stay ahead of the game, here are top 5 positions that will be on the job board spotlight this year based on the MIT Technology Review:

  1. AI engineer

As mentioned earlier, the AI-enabled tools will become the new norm in every facet of human life, including at the workplace. The high demand for installing AI software will come along with coupled demands for AI engineers to develop this technology as well. Not surprisingly, talents with top knowledge on the subject will be highly sought after with a lucrative salary and compensation as well.

  1. Machine trainer

AI does not obtain its ‘intelligent’ status with no trouble. It takes a lot of hard and grinding work to train AI software to actually function well. Owing to this reason, machine trainer who are able to demonstrate the ability to manage the robotics will be in hot demand this year. For example, last December Google employed 10,000 workers to help clean up content on YouTube and train its machine-learning technology.

  1. Video-game streamer

Talking about new technology, it is inseparable to talk about video game technology too, such as the invention of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that have revolutionised the way people consume entertainment. US-based streaming game site Twitch already has more than 25,000 people making money on its platform, and the number is projected to grow faster. With over 15 million active users every day watching gamers on the platform, content demand and game players are soaring.

  1. Renewable-energy technician

Global energy industry is undergoing a transformation, as it moves away from coal and goes toward natural gas and renewable energy. In this transitional period, big counts of technicians with expertise in the field of renewable-energy will be highly needed. The tasks performed by these workers require particular dexterity and mobility, something that robots are far from achieving, so automation will not be affecting this sector for some time.

  1. Caregiver

The greying population continues to be perennial concern across the globe. While many jobs can be automated, health care still requires genuine social interaction and human touch. Many people might think that jobs in home health and personal care do not pay well. However, as demand continues to rise, those in this sector could expect better compensation in the near future.

Next read: 4 Tell-tale Signs that Entrepreneurship Might Not be Your Destiny

“Ideas are cheap. Ideas are easy. Ideas are common. Everybody has ideas. Ideas are highly, highly overvalued. Execution is all that matters.” – Casey Neistat

As 2017 is coming to a close, you have set a New Year resolution to achieve next year: be an entrepreneur and create your own startup. You have couple of great ideas as well as the passion to turn them into reality. You even have compiled project proposals and contacted potential investors who would support your dream.

While this might seem like a perfect plan to execute, here’s the bigger catch: leave your stable job and become a full-time entrepreneur is not just an easy feat.

The idea of launching your own business seems appealing for anyone, especially young-spirited generations such as Millennials. However, it should be noted that not everyone is suited to be a leader. Rather than gambling your hard-earned career and regretting the decision later, it will be better to notice your own leadership capabilities first.

While it might sound cool to be your own boss, being an entrepreneur requires a strong will, dedication, and commitment in the whole process. Before you leave your job and start your entrepreneur journey, here are four signs to tell that you might be more suitable for a job than being an entrepreneur:

  1. You hate changes and challenges

Being an entrepreneur means that you have to get ready for roller-coaster experience along the way. Flexible attitude to deal with unexpected changes and challenges is a must-have value for everyone who wants to succeed in their entrepreneurship journey. If you tend to find comfort in a flat environment with smooth movement, you might not be cut out to be a businessperson.

  1. You are not a good decision-maker

Being a leader means that you would be responsible to make all business-related decision. You might be able to hire consultants and ask them advices, but in the end, the decision is yours to make. As an entrepreneur, you will have a lot of things to decide. Be it product placement, office location, employee recruitment method, or target customers, you should be able to make the right decision that will bring your business move forward. If in the beginning you are not confident enough to make important decisions, chances are, you will find more difficulties along the way.

  1. You are afraid of taking risks

Entrepreneurship is tough, and you should be prepared to give your all. Despite every resources you might have on hand, there is no guarantee for success in the future. When you leave your job to realise your dream of creating your own brand, the process requires a huge willingness to take whatever risks it might bring in the future. However, if you have zero tolerance to risk and tend to play in your safe zone, you might need to rethink your intention to build your own startup.

  1. You lack of basic knowledge

As a new entrepreneur, it is true that you might not have experience level as Mark Zuckenberg or Jack Ma. However, not having adequate business knowledge and organisational skills will bring your startup nowhere but the downhills. Before creating your own business, you should support yourself with basic business, marketing, and accounting knowledge. Even if you do not have formal educational background on these fields, there are numerous courses available online that let you take classes for free. If you find you yourself lack of these knowledge, you might want to go back to your previous position as corporate employee.

Next read: It’s Face Time: How to Prepare for a Video Job Interview?

In average, people in Asia Pacific spend more than six hours or a quarter of their day at work. Within such long working hours, employees are expected to keep their focus attentiveness on the same level throughout the day. That being said, you need to handle the first few minutes of your workday with habits that will boost productivity and efficiency for the rest of the day.

How you start your day will affect moods, set the tone, and eventually determine your success in doing the job. Failing to set up good morning habits will lead to unproductive and chaotic day because people often find themselves in no mood to work for the whole day due to bad morning they experience. If you want to start off your day with something good, here are useful habits you should be practicing right away:

Have healthy breakfast

‘I do not have time,’ ‘I am on diet,’ and ‘I have no appetite in the morning’ are among the most common excuses people make to avoid breakfast. While in fact, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People who are used to have breakfast in the morning are less likely to suffer from obesity, have more stable sugar blood level, and certainly, they have more energy to hit the running ground and seize the day. Thus, do not forget to take your breakfast and face the day with better vitality.

Come on time

Showing up late does not only affect your attendance list, but also stirs up your mood for the entire day. Things will definitely get worse if you get scolded from supervisor for arriving late. Nobody wants to have morning lecture from the boss for their breakfast, let alone in front of the whole team. Thus, coming early to work will hinder you from any morning ruckus as well as setting better mindset for the day.

Take a deep breath

Upon your coming to your seat, do not directly log into computer. Pause the moment to take a deep breath and let the air fills your lung. Morning traffic, unsolved problems at home, or long queue on the subway could be very stressful. By taking deep breath, you can throw away this stress and focus on the job you have to finish at work.

Do simple exercise

Taking some time to do simple exercise like stretching and walking around the office will help loosening tense and blood circulation. You will spend hours sitting on your chair so doing some little workout will be a great way to prepare your body.

Reflect yesterday’s work

Evaluating what you have achieved yesterday is important as part of self-assessment. So when you have done with a project, you can move on to another with comfort. Leave anything that happened yesterday and start the day with fresh minds.

Spare time for a chitchat

Greeting and having a chitchat with a cup of coffee on hand with your co- will definitely help you relax workers before diving into piles of work.

Map out today’s work

Find out what you need to do with the current projects you are working on. Listing down everything into a to-do list will greatly help you to prioritize something that need to be taken care first. Focus on what should be accomplished. If it can be done today, do not procrastinate and wait until tomorrow. While you still have abundant stamina in the morning, it is better to finish the most important tasks first before the other.

Next read: Turning Scars into Stars: How to Get Motivation from Negative Feedbacks

Employees typically work from 9 to 5 in a day, which means that they spend almost one-third of their time in the office. Given that lengthy duration, no wonder that being in healthy workspace is just as crucial as having healthy residents. Owing to that reason, encouraging employees to adopt healthy lifestyle is among top concerns for dedicated employers who want to establish healthy workforce.

A survey conducted by Harvard suggested that majority employers (91 percent) believe that adopting healthier lifestyle at work is beneficial to reduce the costs for employee healthcare. Not only does it bring financial advantage, healthy work habits will also shrink sickness-related absences as well as boost greater productivity. If you need some aspirations to begin your healthy campaign, below we share 5 healthy work habits for healthier office life you can start right now:

1. Enough sleep

It is common knowledge that people need at least eight hours of sleep in a day. Unfortunately, not many people actually have the privilege to do that. Owing to one reason and another, people often go to bad late and end up getting less than eight hours of slumber. While in fact, sleep deprivation will cost your concentration, performance, and cognition. Therefore, make sure that you get enough amount of sleep, as this will help you to be more aware and alert in the workplace, and thus increase your productivity.

2. Exercise breaks

Every once and a while, you should take some time to do some stretching at work. Exercise breaks will help your body relax and refresh your mind during tight schedule. Even simple stretching without leaving your desk, or take couple of minutes to walk around the office could help you stay awake at work.

3. Healthy snacking

Often craving for some additional snacks before lunch? Be careful of what you munch! Replace unhealthy snacks full of calories such as potato chips, candy bars, and cookies with better ones such as protein bars, oats, and nuts. You can also store fruits for healthy refreshments. Then for healthier beverages, move from soda or syrup to mineral water, infused water, or iced tea with less sugar.

4. Good teamwork

When co-workers build a solid camaraderie, they can work and collaborate side by side in harmony. Such good teamwork will create healthy relationships among employees, which will help them overcome strain and anxiety in their jobs that might come as the result of conflicts with coworker or unhealthy workplace politics.

5. Work-life balance

If one day you feel like under the weather, do not push yourself to go to work just because of nearing deadline or busy schedule. There is no need to work through the day when you feel that you cannot give your best performance. Being professional and showing dedication to your work can mean anything, but showing up when you are sick does not count. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance by not taking work-related calls or emails after working hours. This practice will help you relax at home, while reducing unnecessary fatigue and stress from being overworked.

For the last few years, the on-demand economy is here to stay with us. Be it hailing a cab whenever and wherever you want, getting someone do your weekly grocery shopping, or ordering your favourite croissant from the comfort of your home, many people would agree that on-demand services have made our lives easier and more convenient. Not only valuable for the customer, the rise of on-demand economy has also opened up new career opportunities across industries.

Uber and Airbnb are probably the most iconic companies in today’s on-demand economy. Taking freelance or part-time job in rideshare companies such as Uber and Grab can be a great way to earn additional income. You can also turn your unused rooms or places into money machine by renting them on sites such as Airbnb and Tripping. However, the phenomenon of on-demand economy does not stop here. It keeps growing beyond ride or place sharing, as the industry is expanding at an accelerating pace.

Are you interested in jumping on the bandwagon? Take a look at the following new emerging job roles and skills in the on-demand economy and find something where you can get paid for doing something you enjoy:

  1. Rideshare driver

Being rideshare driver is among the hottest job in on-demand economy. If you have driving license, this job will give you freedom to pick your own schedule. Don’t own a car? Don’t worry, there are dozens car leasing where you can rent one.

  1. Grocery shopper

If you love shopping, then maybe you will love being personal grocery shopper. With only a vehicle and smartphone, you can get paid to purchase and deliver groceries to the customers.

  1. Errand runner

Be it mowing lawns, washing cars, or delivering documents, you can sign up on sites like TaskRabbit and earn money from doing odd jobs.

  1. Freelance writer

Copy and content writing is highly on demand nowadays. Be it providing contents for a website, writing essays, or even creating resume, you can always make money from constructing words.

  1. Host and renter

Do you live in the city centre or popular tourist destinations? It is time to earn some extra cash by renting vacant rooms or even your entire house to vacation rental startups.

  1. Freelance translator

If you are fluent in foreign languages, being freelance translator could be a great way to make additional money. Even better, it can be done remotely and you can arrange it flexibly.

  1. User tester

Make your free time productive by being user tester. All you have to do is simple: visit particular websites and applications, then give feedbacks or opinions regarding to the user experience.

Next read: Winning over the Robots: How Talents Should Thrive in the Automated Age

”Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. They are not the same.” Hillary Clinton

Despite stable job and high-paying income, there are good chances that adults will face midlife crisis. At some point of life, there comes a time when you feel bored and worn-out of the tedious routines and stagnant working environments that you probably have lived for decades. Within such scenario, there comes a desire to step out of the comfort zone and try something new.

Are you thinking of switching career in your mid-life? Relax, you’re not alone.

While mid-life career change might sound like an exciting idea, it can be a daunting business. It is true that you know you want to do something different and fresh. The problem lies in the fact that sometimes you are still unsure of what kind of new career you want to pursue. Do you want to follow your passion and navigate to whole new career path? Do you want to aim for better opportunities in the same industry? Or do you want to begin your journey as entrepreneur? Regardless of what you want to achieve, mid-life career is a great way to realign your career goal and life direction.

Nonetheless, the decision to switch careers during mid-life does come with several obstacles. Be it resistance from family or partner, concerns over future financial security, or even the fear of failure itself, one should take everything into account before taking the risk. Owing to which, it is crucial to prepare a tangible plan before making the big decision to take the plunge.

If you are considering of switching career in your mid-life, below are several things to take note that will help you achieve greater success and lead fulfilling life in the future:

  1.    Discover your true passions and interests

Only when you are passionate about what you are doing, you will be motivated to give your best. If previously you work at something that has nothing to do with your passion or expertise, now is the time to discover your interests. Focus on things that make you happy and turn it into valuable career.

  1.    Know your strengths and values

The key to excel at something is knowing your strengths and self-quality. Identify fields or skills that you are good at and learn how to translate it into potential career. For example, if you think that you enjoy interacting with people and helping them, you might want to move from working behind the desk to the front desk.

  1.    Understand your priorities

What do you want to achieve for your future career? Before making any career moves, it is important to always understand your priorities first. Make thorough consideration and list out your priorities in life. This method will help determine what steps you should take next.

  1.    Set realistic career goals

There is nothing wrong with dreaming high. However, you should always make it realistic and reachable. Rather than taking all the risk only to find failure and sorrow, it would be better to aim realistic goals and enjoy the happiness it brings when you succeed.

  1.    Come up with a financial plan

Switching careers mid-life could threaten your financial condition, when you are unable to handle it carefully. Therefore, before jumping into decision, you should set a financial plan to ensure that everything is under control while you are on the job search.

Next read: Pathways to Success: What Type of Jobseeker Are You?